It didn't strike me until the final girls' basketball regular-season game I covered. It was a Friday night (Feb. 5) at Champaign in a non-conference contest where Fisher defeated Judah Christian.
The best part of the game was not that it was a highly competitive one. The highlight was that the players from each squad saw some role models from their gender on the court.
The game was the first I've seen this season where part of the officiating crew consisted of females. The referees were Kim Seward and Ashley Davis, who were joined by Sheldon Turner.
Last week, when I went to three different regional sites, I asked several coaches if they'd seen any women officiating girls' basketball games this season. They had not, nor were any of the officials assigned to the regionals I attended last week females.
I've watched approximately 50 girls' games this season. Why are there so few women working as officials? I didn't keep track during volleyball, but I'm certain I saw more than two female referees throughout the course of the season.
It would be great to see more women working as officials next year; in all sports, yes; but certainly in basketball.